University of Rare Coins offers numismatic education online

Pair of numismatists create online coin campus, research opportunities
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Published : 12/11/13
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Third-generation numismatist Todd Griffiths and Karl Newman, who is a numismatic researcher and curriculum developer, introduced the online University of Rare Coins in 2011 to provide collectors with wide-ranging numismatic education opportunities.

In 2013, the Professional Numismatists Guild chose URC for its vocational training program, “Promoting Numismatic Growth.”

The URC online “campus” is accessed at www.universityrarecoins.com/.

The website identifies the subscription-based University of Rare Coins as “the industry’s first and only online Numismatic University, that is built on a sophisticated software platform, known as a Learning Management System.”

The system allows for training, testing and tracking online at anytime using an Internet connection.

URC participation is currently available for a monthly subscription of $25 or $149.95 annually for all classes offered under the Business and Numismatic Suites.

New courses added to each suite are at no additional cost.

Newman is responsible for all curriculum, accessing and vetting information from a multitude of sources.

Newman said the purpose of the URC is to be a one-stop location for numismatic information.

Numismatic sources include the Library of Congress, the National Archives and the Smithsonian Institution.

The information is augmented with profuse illustrations. Multiple audio and video presentations are also offered.

Among the information presented is a black-and-white silent film produced in 1907 by inventor Thomas Edison showing coinage production at the Philadelphia Mint. The film tracks production from the smelting of bullion, through the rolling and blanking operations, hubbing and die operations and coin production, inspection and bagging.

Constant renovations

The URC is constantly under construction, with new information and illustrations added as they become available and as Newman is able to present it to those who access the site.

Currently, the numismatic courses span five major areas, each with multiple educational modules:

➤ History of U.S. Coinage — covers Early Americas (17th to 18th centuries), The Young Republic (late 18th to mid-19th centuries), The Gold Rush (1848 to 1855), The Civil War (1861 to 1865), and The Gilded Age (1865 to 1914).

➤ History of U.S. Mints — Philadelphia Mint (1793 to present), Charlotte Mint (1835 to 1861), Dahlonega Mint (1838 to 1861), New Orleans Mint (1838 to 1909), San Francisco Mint (1854 to present).

➤ Rare Coin Industry — Coin Associations and Organizations (Industry Resources), Coin Grading and Certification (Third Party Authentication), Coin Purchasing (Sales and Marketing), Coin Auctions (Buying and Selling), Coin Shows (Conventions and Expos).

➤ Rare Coin Collecting — Coin Collecting Demand (The Hobby of Kings), Rare Coin Collecting Advantages (Tangible Diversification), Rare Coin Museums (Historical Collections), Rare Coin Collectors (Great Collections), Hoards and Shipwrecks (Hidden Treasures).

➤ Rare Coin Investing — Coin Investing Essentials (Portfolio Strategies), Coin Market Dynamics (Supply and Demand); Building A Rare Coin Portfolio (Coin Types and Series), Tangible Asset Investing (Numismatic Portfolios), Portfolio Management (Wealth Preservation).

Among the extensive numismatic profiles presented by Karl Newman is that of 102-year-old St. Louis collector, numismatic researcher and author Eric P. Newman (no relation to Karl Newman).

Through narration and illustration, the information conveys Eric P. Newman’s numismatic life from the 1859 Indian Head cent presented to him at age 7 by his grandfather through the assemblage of one of the greatest numismatic collections ever.

The profile includes his contributions through the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society, a foundation created in 1959, and the 1981 establishment of the Newman Money Museum in St. Louis.

The society in 2013 conducted two major auctions of select items from Eric P. Newman’s vast numismatic holdings, generating tens of millions of dollars to support continued numismatic and other research and education endeavors.

Campus development

Karl Newman explains that the University of Rare Coins is undergoing continual expansion and improvements, with separate numismatic campuses and departments.

URC also maintains a social media presence through such venues as Pinterest, on which “Numismatic Factoids” are presented on a variety of topics in fewer than 100 words, accompanied by illustrations.

URC is also connected through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

Once subscribed to URC, a collector has the opportunity to choose which courses to take.

The length of each course varies depending on the extent of the information being presented. Some classes may have 50 or more illustrated Web pages, with audio of the information presented by Karl Newman in his own voice.

At the conclusion of each course, URC students are presented with a multiple-choice test of 10 questions. A score of 80 is required for course credit, although a retention test may be taken if the 80 score is not attained on the first attempt.

Students may review their records at the bottom of each Web page.

Users may get free trial access online at www.UniversityRareCoins.com/ANA. ■

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